BEFORE my mother died she told my sister and me that she had "gotten rid" of all the love letters our father wrote her while he was in the Army during World War II.
We were heartbroken and as I remember it she couldn't understand why.
She didn't know, however (or at least I don't think so), that there were many rainy October Saturdays when my sister and I would sneak downstairs, go into her bedroom, and search the back of her lingerie drawer for those very letters. They were wonderful!
Well, I don't know how my own children will feel about the love letters between their father and me before we were married. We were officially together 26 years - a good chunk of time - but it's been over for (officially, again) 18 years now.
When I was looking for something to add to my DisCo Project - I knew I wanted to bind up the book sections to make another book - I was frantic. Nothing was right. I slowed down and took a careful look around the room and came up with this: old love letters. Pieces of my past. Sections of heartache. Promises unfulfilled. Longing, desire, plans for the future.
What better to add to weathered bits of paper than weathered bits of promise and hope?
Holes were punched and I bound them in such a way that the letters can't be taken out and read. Peeks may be obtained of some of the pages - a word here and there - but unless the book is taken apart they cannot be read in their entirety.
This, I think, is like the past. A word overheard now and again, a glimpse of a person's face as you passed their doorway, but the entire picture can't be put together with these few bits. And even if the letters are read someday, I don't think anyone can fully appreciate this once happy couple's dreams and plans. Still harder to find in these clippings are the reasons the marriage failed.
It certainly didn't fail because of these letters. Like most plans, it failed because of miscommunication, pride, ego and the inability to put yourself in another's shoes.
I think I will probably add more to this book. Maybe love letters from another gentleman after the 26-year marriage ended. Maybe not. Maybe those are for burning - femminismo
(edited Aug. 2 for grammar)